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Pa. lawmaker plans bill to track police officers' records

PITTSBURGH — The shooting death of Antwon Rose may be inspiring change across Pennsylvania.

State Rep. Chris Rabb is pushing a bill that would make it harder for police officers to find jobs after getting fired.

That's exactly what happened in the case of Michael Rosfeld, who was hired in East Pittsburgh after being let go by University of Pittsburgh police.


“This is a perfect example of someone who should not have been placed in that position to begin with,” Rabb said.

Rabb wants to propose a bill modeled after a similar law in Michigan that would require law enforcement agencies to keep detailed personnel records that include criminal, civil, and ethics complaints, and the reason surrounding an officer leaving a job.

That information would be kept in a database that law enforcement would have to check before hiring an officer.

“This is a pandemic that has to be addressed and it's bigger than any one verdict or any one killing. This is really about justice,” Rabb said.

Beth Pittinger, the executive director of the Pittsburgh Citizen Police Review Board said western Pennsylvania senators were looking at creating a similar policy last year.

“I know, it seems ludicrous that some positions with this much power people wouldn't be disclosing their histories, but it is that right now,” she said.

Rabb said there needs to be more transparency and accountability to prevent what he calls, "pariah police" from job hopping across the state.

“They need to have the type of background that doesn't suggest that they're hot-heads, or that they're prone to excessive force or prone to discriminatory views,” he said.

Rabb is still looking for more co-sponsors before he formally introduces this bill. He hopes to have a hearing on it sometime this year.